The National Association of Home Builders recently announced the winners of the Best in American Living Awards. Based on submissions from the winners, the newest trends this year include:

• White on white. Cabinets, flooring, back-splashes, counters, fixtures and appliances are lightening up. Layering white on white is a new approach in kitchens and bathrooms, giving way to a fresh and light feeling.

• Bold exterior colors. Bold colors are making their way to the exterior of homes. Whether it’s through paint, a mix of cladding materials, doors, windows, porches, shutters or trim, drama is being added to the design of elevations, enhancing curb appeal.


• Interior courtyards. Interior courtyards are popular in all housing types right now. Within single-family homes, courtyards provide private and safe outdoor living areas and are being shifted to side yards.

• Specialty lighting. Regardless of whether it involves a custom or stock fixture, designers are finding ways to showcase specialty lighting as pieces of art rather than just functional elements.

• Historic style with modern flair. New or remodeled homes are adding modern flair to their traditional designs through color, finish, fixture and lighting selection, while continuing to be influenced by the past through the use of reclaimed building materials, classic proportions and detailing.

• Blurring the lines between inside and out. More homes now feature moveable glass walls, gourmet outdoor kitchens and interior courtyard pools, adding more living space.

To find an industry professional ready to bring these exciting new trends to your new home or remodeling project, contact BIA Hawaii at

Karen Nakamura is CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii.